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Failed nursing class 6 months away from graduation, need Advice

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by mslizzy4303 mslizzy4303 (New) New

So here I am 6 months away from graduation being told I have to drop the class and retake it because I failed my foley critical element 3x. I kept breaking sterility by touching the draping. I practiced it so many times, I don't know what happened. I truly believe my nerves got the best of me. I feel as if my world just crashed down around me. Never in a million years did I think this could have happened. I have been working towards my Associates nursing degree for 6 years because I work full time. I am so mad at myself, I should have gotten more help from the practice lab. My average in the class was good too! ugh and the worst part is my school only offers this class in evenings again next fall so I can't even take it for the upcoming spring semester. I have to wait almost a year to take it again. So here I am going on year 7 for a 2 year degree. The only option I have is to take a pharmacology class this spring needed for my bachelors so I don't waste a semester. I have met with the chairperson of my nursing department at school after this happened for a meeting. I pleaded with them that I would take any help and do whatever it takes to stay in the course since my grades are good. They said they have heard nothing but wonderful things about me from my clinical professors but they are sorry and feel terrible but there is nothing they can do since it is their policy to dismiss a student if a critical element is failed 3x. I am contemplating going into another field because I feel so bitter and discouraged. Maybe I don't have what it takes to be a nurse. I just don't know anymore. I am tired and burnt out. Nursing school has been my life for the past 6 years of my life. I feel totally lost right now. I would really appreciate and helpful advice. No discouraging comments please this is a very hard time for me.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Nothing to say - I just want to give you a hug!

Thanks I can use all the hugs I can get.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

I hate that for you. :no: Truly...to be failed over a motor skill, when it sounds like your knowledge level is there. I mean I completely understand the need to keep sterile -- in fact, my hospital's policy is to have 2 RNs present for foley placement as a CAUTI prevetion measure. The 2nd RN is to watch and speak up if sterile technique is compromised, and to assist when more hands are needed. Plus, in real life if we accidentally contaminate something, we get new supplies and start over. Skills can be taught. In fact, in certain settings (ED comes to mind) unlicensed personnel are trained to do some nursing skills. And of course if you were earning failing grades on the content and application, then you should fail. But over a motor skill alone, that stinks.

Sorry I don't have better advice, but wanted to show some support.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

So here I am 6 months away from graduation being told I have to drop the class and retake it because I failed my foley critical element 3x. I kept breaking sterility by touching the draping. I practiced it so many times, I don't know what happened. I truly believe my nerves got the best of me. I feel as if my world just crashed down around me. Never in a million years did I think this could have happened. I have been working towards my Associates nursing degree for 6 years because I work full time. I am so mad at myself, I should have gotten more help from the practice lab. My average in the class was good too! ugh and the worst part is my school only offers this class in evenings again next fall so I can't even take it for the upcoming spring semester. I have to wait almost a year to take it again. So here I am going on year 7 for a 2 year degree. The only option I have is to take a pharmacology class this spring needed for my bachelors so I don't waste a semester. I have met with the chairperson of my nursing department at school after this happened for a meeting. I pleaded with them that I would take any help and do whatever it takes to stay in the course since my grades are good. They said they have heard nothing but wonderful things about me from my clinical professors but they are sorry and feel terrible but there is nothing they can do since it is their policy to dismiss a student if a critical element is failed 3x. I am contemplating going into another field because I feel so bitter and discouraged. Maybe I don't have what it takes to be a nurse. I just don't know anymore. I am tired and burnt out. Nursing school has been my life for the past 6 years of my life. I feel totally lost right now. I would really appreciate and helpful advice. No discouraging comments please this is a very hard time for me.

I took the scenic route and about 5-6 years to get my ASN. I also "failed" a clinical due to absences (because of illness). A really bad cold literally set me back a semester. It's very discouraging to have to re-do a class, but it happens to quite a few people for one reason or another.

My advice is to accept complete responsibility for your failure and move on. There was a minimum requirement and you didn't meet it. Likewise, I actually had to show up to class. My instructor was helpful and great, but I didn't meet the minimum requirement, so she couldn't pass me.

I never considered giving up as I had too much time and money invested- plus, I don't take things like this personally.

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

I don't see where anything is lost since you will probably need that bachelor degree to find a nursing job anyway...depending on your area. Seven years for a two-year degree sounds the same as six years for a two-year degree. You haven't lost a thing that you hadn't lost going into year three.

I'm not saying that to be harsh; that's just the reality. So, keep moving forward with whatever you can take towards the BSN. Nothing has changed that didn't change for you a few years ago...from where I sit. Things could be a whole lot worse, where you could have been that OP who has spent the last six years trying to pass the NCLEX (that person has been spinning wheels for the past few years). You, on the other hand, have been progressing slowly due to other obligations. Keep it moving...

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Sorry this happened to you. But keep in mind that catheters are the main cause of hospital-acquired UTIs, so correct insertion is a skill that any nurse has to get down pat.

IMO, give yourself a short period to mourn this (a few days max) then decide what you want to do. Right now you are upset--and understandably so--and are more likely to take things too much to heart or be too critical on yourself. So let yourself grieve, and then decide what to do next.

Considering that you are just 6 months away from graduation, why would you let this stop you? If you really want to pursue nursing, retake the class. You wouldn't be the first nurse who failed a class in nursing school and you won't be the last. And a lot of those nurses who failed that class go on to do very well in nursing.

If you decide to not pursue nursing any further, that's fine too. But I think you should make that decision in a few days, when emotions aren't coloring your view as much and you put things in perspective. Don't make a rash judgment that you may regret later just because you're hurting now.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

Edited by Meriwhen

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

To HereIStand - 2 nurses for a foley insertion - WOW!! I've worked NHs where I was the ONLY sole nurse for the whole place - forget about 2 nurses.

To OP - make that a BIG hug!

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

To HereIStand - 2 nurses for a foley insertion - WOW!! I've worked NHs where I was the ONLY sole nurse for the whole place - forget about 2 nurses.

To OP - make that a BIG hug!

Yes, that's how it's been at a lot of places. This year, 2016, my hospital has begun the 2-nurse Foley-insertion practice as well. They've begun to take hospital-acquired UTIs very seriously, since most hospital-acquired anything runs the potential of the hospital eating that cost.

Don't give up now. Once you reach your goal, it will be that much more sweet. Feel sorry for those who fail out with no recourse whatsoever. As long as you live to return another day, you have your goal available to you. Take the pharm course, and maybe another course or two. And find a way to practice motor skills. See if the school will allow you access to the lab to practice. Audit the lab course if you have to, and practice, practice, practice.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Hmmm...the first time I ever inserted a Foley catheter was nearly a year after graduation when I was a nurse at a LTC facility. An experienced nurse walked me through the steps as I inserted it.

I feel for you. I probably would have failed this skill miserably if I had to perform it in school in the presence of my former instructors.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

As a student, I had to do a bladder instillation of something. My instructor (a great nurse and later a friend) went with me to do the cath.

There I am - doing so cool. All of a sudden a sneaky onset sneeze caught me. Eyeglasses just plopped off right into the middle of my sterile field.

All my aspirations of finishing nsg school went kaput. Never be a nurse. Or so I thought.

My instructor was hysterical laughing! Even the pt laughed. Got another setup and completed the cath.

I've done a million since. I always try to get somebody, anybody to go with me - even if it's just to protect me from being be-bopped by some unhappy LOL.

I've been a nurse for decades as have most my nurse friends and in our cases, now that our kids are out of the house, we're going back for NP's and DNP's and MSN's etc. In my friends' experience and in the class I'm taking... people fail a class and then and take it again when it's offered. I'm in an Advanced Health Assessment class, and I met one woman who failed the physical exam practicum portion of the class mid semester (she passed this semester) and one woman who just could not test over the 80% needed on the academic portion of the course and was retaking it. I think she's left the class again for that reason. And one of my friends is going through the same in a course she's taking. I think what I would do is take the Pharm and then take this course again next semester. I don't really understand your school's attitude towards that one skill. In my education they certainly assumed we would continue to learn the skills once we started our job but.. nothing you can do about that. You can always change your mind and do something later. But you have so much invested in this, why not finish up.

Thank you all for your support and advice. I truly do appreciate all the comments. Some days I want to keep going and wait to finish and others I am just so confused if this is the right career for me. This whole situation is still new and I have some adjusting to do. I know in my heart that I am suppose to be a nurse. I guess I am just hurting right now. Time heals all so I can use this time to get back on track.

There were many, many days in nursing school that I felt like quitting.. I wasn't all that sure I wanted to be a nurse in the first place! But you'll find that it is true.. there are lots of ways you can use your degree, you can go on in your education if you like and have more options. But being a nurse (I think this is true in all fields) is not like nursing school. And you're exactly right.. lick your wounds as they say :-) for a little while and then get back up and move foreward. I'm sure it is hard because it's a change in plans and people most likely knew when you were due to finish up etc. I know it feels like a big deal right now to have failed, but in the long run.. it's not. Good luck!

MiladyMalarkey, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Neuro. Has 2 years experience.

Don't quit, keep at it, you know you're more than capable to get this done. I literally spent 7 years in college to get my bachelors degree, no shame, some of us it takes a little longer to get there, you because you have to work and take that into account in your schooling schedule, me, because I was just lost in college--changing my majors. In the end we get there and the success of it is that much sweeter because we know what it took for us to get here.

Geez that sucks so bad. I failed my foley test out the first time (I "batted away" the sterile sheet when it flew back up, I didn't even notice I did it until my instructor told me!). I think the only reason I passed the second time was a very kind instructor who told me to go really slow and talked me through it. I got to do my first patient catheter in clinical and I actually think it was less stressful (had a very experienced RN talking me through it).

I'm so sorry. I hope you don't give up because of this! Anything involving sterile field makes me nervous. Good luck!